St. BENEDICT BISCOP, BISHOP
The founder and first abbot of Wearmouth and later of Jarrow, both in England, Benedict Biscop (628–89) was born Biscop Baducing, of a noble Northumbrian family. He decided at age twenty-five to become a monk, taking the name Benedict, and eventually made six separate visits to Rome as well as to seventeen different monasteries, from which he produced a synthesis of Rules for later use in his own foundations. After serving only two years as abbot of Sts. Peter and Paul (later St. Augustine’s) in Canterbury, he founded, with the help of King Egfrith, a new monastery in Wearmouth in 674, for which he later secured the special protection of the Holy See. Benedict’s extensive library holdings made possible the work of the Venerable Bede [May 25], a monk of Jarrow, where he wrote the Ecclesiastical History of the English People.
Benedict Biscop is the patron saint of English Benedictines. His feast is not on the General Roman Calendar, but is commemorated by the Church of England.